The Demon girls volleyball team didn’t let the pandemic prevent them from practicing. They just used a little creativity and it paid off with the first Southwest League title in 10 years. Like most athletic activities this past school year, the volleyball team had to improvise to get their game together.
You know, this year without a lot of gym time, we’re playing grass volleyball, which is doubles and that really helped. I can’t imagine what would what our season would have looked like if we hadn’t done that. I think communication for one was a big part of the grass game and also control. I think we just learned to trust each other, and you know, when there’s six people on a court, it’s a lot easier than just playing doubles on grass, so it was super helpful.
When there’s only two players out there, the confidence level, you have to figure it out, and there were so many courts that I was wandering around coaching, but I couldn’t stand on one court and coach the whole entire time. So they were having to figure it out and they didn’t get subbed out, so with, all of the girls came back with a lot more confidence. I know they all could serve and they all could pass, and I don’t care if you play middle school, high school, or college, it’s all about the serve and pass game. You know, whoever wins that usually wins the match, and so I think that confidence really, that was what kind of sent them into a positive note at the beginning of the year.
The girls’ volleyball teams started the season with an experienced team. Six seniors, along with a few freshmen and sophomores, finished the season with 10 wins and only five losses. They ended league play seven to one to take the title. In addition to the two-on-two games that honed their skills, Coach Rifilato worked on drills to improve her team’s serves, passes and hits.
Our practices were just repetitive, like the middles need to run this, and so it took a lot of work at practice to just keep going over and over and how to work together and figure out how to not get in each other’s way, because that was a huge struggle for some of the younger girls, because if the ball’s up in the air, they think they are supposed to hit it, but sometimes they’re not, and then sometimes we land on them and it it got a little bit messy, but we, I would just say practiced. We just practiced it over and over and
Yeah, lots of drills, yeah.
Unfortunately, practice was put on hold right before the regional tournament, when some of the team members were exposed to the COVID virus. The hiatus took its toll and the Demons were eliminated after losing their first two matches. But for Paige Ammerman, who will be attending Minot State College on a full volleyball scholarship in fall, this year’s disappointing ending couldn’t take away the joy of finishing her senior year with a winning season.
It was an amazing season, and I don’t think I would trade any of it for the world. I mean, the end was not what we maybe wanted, but you know, everything happens for a reason and I think for the most part, we had an amazing season and we should all be proud of it for, you know, the younger generations to come. I think they’ll definitely follow in these footsteps and I think that us seniors have left a way for them to, you know, get into this program and also achieve big things. So, yeah.
We congratulate all the graduating seniors of the Demon volleyball team and wish them well. Thanks for watching this edition of the Demon Spotlight on the Local News Network. I’m Wendy Graham Settle.